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Labour MP Says British Ethnic Minorities Should Vote To Leave EU

Khalid Mahmood told BuzzFeed News that British immigrants are suffering as a result of European immigration and struggling to find jobs.

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One of Labour's most senior Muslim MPs plans to convince ethnic minorities they would be better off if Britain left the EU.

Khalid Mahmood is the latest MP to join Vote Leave, which already counts the likes of Labour MP Kate Hoey, Conservative MP Steve Baker, and Green party peer Baroness Jones among its ranks. But Mahmood will play a specific role within the campaign group: to tell Britain's black and minority ethnic community that Britain would have more power over its laws and better control of its borders if it were outside the EU.

"I've had conversations with constituents from the Indian community who are asking, 'Why are we being flooded with people when we have issues?'" Mahmood said.

"A lot of people are scared about huge European migration coming through. A lot of them have been undercut in terms of the jobs they do and the work they do."

When asked if there was any irony in an immigrant calling for less immigration, Mahmood, who moved from Pakistan to the UK when he was 10, said people understand that "we can't go on increasing immigration".

Mahmood said people want to see better trade relations with their home countries, especially with the Commonwealth. "What they want to do is to be able to support the Commonwealth, and the heritage that they come from," he said. "They want to be able to have trade agreements with those countries."

He added that he isn't opposed to immigration but said immigrants should be skilled workers who could contribute to the British economy.

"The real issue is not that they want to shut the door to them," he said, "but they understand that there is an issue of how many people we can get in here."

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Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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